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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential distribution of two microtubule-associated proteins, MAP2 and MAP5, during chick dorsal root ganglion development in situ and in culture.

Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) are essential components necessary for the early growth process of axons and dendrites, and for the structural organization within cells. Both MAP2 and MAP5 are involved in these events, MAP2 occupying a role predominantly in dendrites, and MAP5 being involved in both axonal and dendritic growth. In the chick dorsal root ganglia, pseudo-unipolar sensory neurons have a T-shaped axon and are devoid of any dendrites. Therefore, they offer an ideal model to study the differential expression of MAPs during DRG development, specifically during axonal growth. In this study we have analyzed the expression and localization of MAP2 and MAP5 isoforms during chick dorsal root ganglia development in vivo, and in cell culture. In DRG, both MAPs appeared as early as E5. MAP2 consists of the 3 isoforms MAP2a, b and c. On blots, no MAP2a could be found at any stage. MAP2b increased between E6 and E10 and thereafter diminished slowly in concentration, while MAP2c was found between stages E6 and E10 in DRG. By immunocytochemistry, MAP2 isoforms were mainly located in the neuronal perikarya and in the proximal portion of axons, but could not be localized to distal axonal segments, nor in sciatic nerve at any developmental stage. On blots, MAP5 was present in two isoforms, MAP5a and MAP5b. The concentration of MAP5a was highest at E6 and then decreased to a low level at E18. In contrast, MAP5b increased between E6 and E10, and rapidly decreased after E14. Only MAP5a was present in sciatic nerve up to E14. Immunocytochemistry revealed that MAP5 was localized mainly in axons, although neuronal perikarya exhibited a faint immunostaining. Strong staining of axons was observed between E10 and E14, at a time coincidental to a period of intense axonal outgrowth. After E14 immunolabeling of MAP5 decreased abruptly. In DRG culture, MAP2 was found exclusively in the neuronal perikarya and the most proximal neurite segment. In contrast, MAP5 was detected in the neuronal cell bodies and all along their neurites. In conclusion, MAP2 seems involved in the early establishment of the cytoarchitecture of cell bodies and the proximal axon segment of somatosensory neurons, while MAP5 is clearly related to axonal growth.[1]


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